The case for Rosberg to feel confident

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Brought to you by TJ13 Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Huntley-Jacobs 

Nico Rosberg needs to put the F1 opening flyaway races behind him and treat Barcelona as a new beginning from a psychological perspective.

The facts are that Lewis has won three of the four races this season – and has finished ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg in all four. Hamilton leads the world championship and is 27 points ahead of Nico.

This kind of apparent early season domination could crush many a chasing competitor. So will Rosberg crumble or can Nico be content with his start to the season? And have the F1 commentators who laud Hamilton’s dominance ignored important factors which are worthy of consideration?

Last time out, Rosberg tried to box clever by saving extra life in the tyres he was to use at the start of Bahrain race. Whilst he achieved that objective, it meant he lost his flat out driving rhythm for Q3 and this allowed Vettel to snatch P2 on the grid.

Niki Lauda reveals he told Rosberg before the race not to “dwell on the matter with complex explanations. Just admit you’ve made a mistake, clear your head and go racing as though this is the start of the world championship”.

After the chequered flag, the former triple world champion had nothing but high praise for the German, despite him coming third in the race. “Nico drove a crazy race; he had a long brake pedal, sometimes it was short and finally if failed. That he was so fast in the circumstances is incredible.”

Yet it was another win for Lewis and an encouraging 2nd for Ferrari and Kimi Räikkönen.

This time last year, Nico Rosberg was heading into the European leg of the F1 season, four points ahead of Hamilton, but Lewis had won the previous three races. Nico’s win in Australia was also fortuitous because Hamilton retired when a $5 wire failed on his car.

A glass half empty approach sees Nico Rosberg a relative 31 points behind where he was this time last year in his battle with Hamilton.

However, behind the headlines it could be Nico is more positive about his situation than reported, and a glass half full perspective suggests he has reasons to be encouraged.

Certain drivers favour or perform exceptionally well at certain race circuits. Then there are other venues they never quite master. For example, the great Ayrton Senna never won Formula One races in South Africa, Austria or France.

Australia is like a high speed karting circuit, and a favourite of Hamilton’s. He has 5 podium finishes in 7 races completed – together with a DSQ and a DNF.

China is another ‘Lewis’ track, where he has now scored five pole positions, beating Rosberg this year to the top spot by just 0.042 seconds. Only three other drivers in Formula One have achieved five or more poles at one venue, which makes Hamilton almost untouchable on the asphalt in Shanghai.

Malaysia is another strong circuit for Lewis with five podium finishes in the nine visits he has made to Sepang.

If Nico has any regrets from the first four races this year, it should be about the last F1 weekend in Bahrain. The German took pole position there in 2013 and 2014 and it is not a circuit Lewis has particularly excelled at. Prior to his Mercedes wins at the Sakhir circuit, Lewis had just two previous podium finishes with a second place in his rookie year and a third place in 2010.

So adopting a PMA, given that the brake issues that affected Rosberg in the desert were beyond his control, Nico should console himself with the fact that there will be more Mercedes unreliability later this year. If the F1 gods share out this misfortune, his missed opportunity may not be so vital.

There is also other encouragement for Rosberg to take from his 2015 performances. Nico has been much closer to his team mate than he was in the early season exchanges of 2014.

Rosberg’s average qualifying deficit to Hamilton over the flyaway races has shrunk from 0.701 in 2014 (which included him beating Hamilton to pole in Bahrain) to 0.317 this year.

So if Nico can repeat the one lap qualifying performances he delivered at the circuits he favoured in 2014, then Lewis may find himself under more pressure than he is feeling at present.

In a year where qualifying ahead of your Mercedes team mate is looking to be decisive, Nico needs to remember he beat Hamilton 12-7 in qualifying last year, though he has already handed one of those back after four races.

Rosberg has also been a lot closer in terms of the average gap at the end of each race than he was in 2014, but granted, this statistic is open to manipulation by Mercedes.

Looking forward to Barcelona, Nico can take heart when considering Lewis has just the one career win at the Circuit de Catalunya under his belt. However, we can’t count out another Ferrari win at the Spanish GP. The expected high track temperatures and the abrasive asphalt will favour the SF15-T chassis which is kinder on tyres than the W06.

So in the face of the current Hamfosi triumphalism 😉 I present the case for all F1 fans who hope to see meaningful races for the driver world championship hereon in – rather than Hamilton domination. This of course assumes this battle is primarily between the Mercedes drivers.

As Lauda says, Rosberg needs to ‘reset’ his mind at each new race venue and refuse to allow the understandably joyous Hamilton band wagon to get to him.

Of course the weight of history demonstrates that prior to 2015 when the first four races of the year have been won by the same driver, that driver almost inevitably marches on to the drivers’ championship.

And Niki Lauda knows well the mental challenge facing Rosberg. In 1984 when under extreme pressure from an up and coming Alain Prost, Lauda has recounted many times how he chose to focus only his strengths and ignore the times when Prost was unbeatable. The Austrian eventually won his third world title that year – but by just half a point.

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63 responses to “The case for Rosberg to feel confident

  1. Many interesting comments about stats in the past. But this year it will take a strong mentality to races and right now HAM has the edge. Barcelona will provide an indication of ROS mental ability.

    • I think Rosberg’s season will depend upon Monaco. If he can’t win pole position, I fear that he will be mentally broken. If he wins both the pole and the race, the championship will still be there to fight for. Hamilton is not as mentally strong as the Sky?BBC commenters think he is.

      • And Nico’s not mentally as tough and smart as the Sky, BBC commentators think he is.

  2. And here’s a case few pointers for him not to feel confident…

    1 win in the last 11 races

    Yet to win consecutive races, stemming back to the start of 2014

    Ferrari are now a factor

    Here is Nico’s problem, he’s trying to do everything else, but the most important thing of all, RACE!

    Before the season started, he was all bubbly, said he did all the analysis of the the things he did last season, he even came up with a new breathing technique, new seating position, studying races, more data studying and whatever else he can think of. But we are yet to see an end product.

    He promises that he’s going to win the next race, but when he doesn’t, all you get is excuses, the latest at Bahrain was his ‘chief mechanic went home’ and outburst like that in China. But his biggest problem this year, he doesn’t have a 25pt head start and he’s no longer just racing Lewis, he’s racing the 2 Ferrari’s and those 3 drivers combine, have 7 WDC titles. He said he’s not comfortable in the car, however his teammate has said, he’s more comfortable in this years car than he was in the W05

    The largest deficit Nico overcame last season was 4pts, 27, might just be a bridge too far.

      • Any gossip or gems from Piech’s resignation at VW? Everyone’s jumping up and down about VW being now free to join F1.

        • Can’t see it happening any time soon.

          More likely they would pitch for something like F2. GP2 owners said they would be interested in bidding for the new F2 series – but since they are owned by CVC, the FIA are likely to find something more ‘appropriate’ in another offering.

  3. What a load of hogwash. If, perhaps, maybe, looking back, compared to, in the past, lap of the gods, etc, etc.
    Bottom line, Rosberg doesn’t hold a candle to Hamilton. Rosberg had his chance last year and failed, he knew this year would be more difficult which is why he played every trick in the book to beat Hamilton. He failed and how it’s his job to attempt to be rear gunner for Hamilton, so Mercedes can do the double again.

  4. I’m left to guess that the point of this commentary is to give hope that 2015 could yet turn out a thrilling battle for the WDC.
    But.

    Rosberg’s personality, as exhibited by his 2014 actions along with those so far this season, actually preclude him from challenging Hamilton. And not only has Rosberg allowed the world to see his flaws, they are exacerbated by his actual history with Hamilton; that Hamilton has, on track, dominated Rosberg since they were 13.

    So far, we know that Nico Rosberg went to some lengths to improve aspects of his racing. Yet it is clear that, while he’s diligently worked at bettering these peripheral issues, he has yet to tackle or even address the root of his problems; the psychological/psychical issues that block his path to reaching his potential as a driver.

    Listening to both Hamilton’s and Rosberg’s statements about their off-season preparation for 2015, their areas of focus could not be any more different. Rosberg believes the secret to shaving off the missing tenths between he and Hamilton lie in preparatory and in-race technique alterations and enhancements. Hamilton, on the other hand, has told us how he viewed last season as a springboard to growing as a person. Rosberg looked at his weaknesses as being largely physical; Hamilton, psychological.

    We can clearly see the manifestations of Rosberg’s focus in that he is openly frustrated that those “tenths” he spoke of often last season are still missing; that despite his plying the “hard yards” all offseason, everything AROUND him must be perfect for him to succeed.

    The story of the emphases of the two drivers can, for me, be seen in Hamilton can be seen through his two latest qualifying efforts and the Bahrain brake issues.

    At both China and Bahrain Hamilton set pole-winning times on his FIRST fast lap qualifying effort. For F1 drivers the forever-held stance in Q3 is to wait and gear up mentally for one last glory lap. Hamilton, though, has apparently changed his THINKING concerning Q3 to go hard as soon as his tires appreciably warm. Looking back at 2014 one need only to point to the Monaco debacle for a perfect reason for this change in perception – this change in psychology. For Rosberg, there were Q3 issues at both venues that, if viewed in a vacuum, or viewed traditionally, were not entirely within Nico’s control. Even Rosberg’s “tire-saving” excuse was not the result of a perception change. It was strategic only, as it was all too briefly mentioned that Hamilton also saved a set of fresh options for the race. However, viewed in a vacuum and without the necessary context of team strategy, Rosberg “mistake” was more a tire issue than it was his issue.

    At Bahrain Rosberg squarely blamed his brakes for failing to finish second. The team, post-race, admirably shared the blame. What went missing and continues to go missing (like the tire saving) is Lewis Hamilton’s response to being asked about his brakes failing. For Hamilton the brakes “weren’t an issue.” He also said he “simply reset them and carried on.” Rather than panic, Hamilton responded with a champion’s calm. Rosberg, on the other hand, succumbed to perceived pressure and, unless he completely forgot to mention that he did so, or tried to do so, never attempted to perform a brake reset.

    Therein lies an explanation for the present gulf between the two drivers.

    And unless Hamilton suffers a series of debilitating car issues or relapses on his psychological changes, Hamilton should win a consecutive WDC.

    • “Hamilton has, on track, dominated Rosberg since they were 13.”

      I was unaware of that… Could you, if you don’t mind, elaborate on that? I was under the impression that their junior careers were not always aligned and in the same category through to Formula 1.

      Their GP2 seasons, as an example. How did Lewis dominate Nico during those two seasons at least? The one where Nico was in GP2 and lewis wasn’t (2005), and the one where Lewis was in GP2 and Nico was debuting in Formula 1 (2006)?

      Just finally, in relation to their Formula 1 careers, how would Lewis have “dominated” Nico, or visa versa, in completely different circumstances until 2013? Again I am just curious to see the reasoning behind the view of Lewis having dominated Nico since 13.

      Please know, the tone of my words is of genuine curiosity as to how your statement is possible. Or have I misread it?

      • “Hamilton has, on track, dominated Rosberg every time they’ve been paired as teammates, since they were 13.”

        Ok, fixed it for ya. I believe it was only in 2000 in karting, and then 2013- that they’ve been teammates. There is the story about Keke telling Nico never to be teammates with Lewis again, after their time together in 2000. “But why Daddy?” Talk about your psychological blows …

        • Thanks for the clarification, KRB. And as Rosberg said last season after a particularly painful loss to Hamilton – Bahrain? – “It’s just like when we were kids.”

          tj – thx for the “Seal of Hamfosi” approval… Excellent touch! 🙂

          • Glad you liked it – didn’t realise how many of your were out there – I’m afraid no other driver will receive as many TJ13 fan awards as Lewis

            Maybe we could make it more a wax type royal seal of approval rather than the convict style branding TJ13’s master of graphics produced 😉

        • @KRB

          Oh, I see. Thanks for the reply KRB.

          That subtle nuance results in a very different statement then, one that is a little less powerful and meaningful, wouldn’t you say?

          Lewis then hasn’t “dominated” Nico since they were 13; so all that could reasonably have been inferred from that previously powerful statement is more or less void and perhaps inadvertently misleading.

          Instead, it is simply a case of Lewis having beaten Nico in the three seasons that their respective careers have overlapped, and objectively, to me, Lewis has only “dominated” Nico this season, so far… I can’t see how their Karting season and the 2013/14 Formula 1 seasons can be reasonably characterised by Lewis “dominating” Nico, given the closeness of results in qualifying and ultimately their championship positions.

          I suppose that final point is a shades of grey discussion; nevertheless, it’s a pretty big reduction from the statement I queried…

          @DWil

          Thanks for the reply. I see you have endorsed KRB’s clarification of your statement. So my reply to that is above.

          Incidentally, I can’t see Nico having a hope in hell turning this season around relative to Lewis. For Formula 1’s sake, I hope he can, but I feel he can’t. If he did, it would be quite spectacular.

          My hope resides in a massive Ferrari performance step, and the Paddy Lowe effect kicking in.

          • tj, I predict there will soon be Hamfosi globally seeking to enter the hallowed pages of “The Judge13” to be duly certified by you!

            I do, though, feel no adjustments to the seal are necessary. As we can see, already anti-Hamfosi elements (soon to be dubbed “Hamorrists”?) are making their mark (pun intended) by satirizing your creation.

            Leaving the certification “convict style” adds to the fun for both sides of, in the purposely loaded but still vague enough to appear even-handed style of newspeak, “the thorny issue of Lewis Hamilton.”

  5. An excellent article from the Editor in Chief as you would expect…

    However. I ask you this AJ. how many seasons must Hamilton defeat Rosberg before we say, ‘he is simply a better driver’. 3? Will a win this season suffice?

    • 3 Spanners, because if Nico has more points than Lewis after 3 seasons, the rhetoric will be same to that of Jenson.

      “but Jenson scored more points over their time together as team mates”

      • Clearly Hamilton is the more successful driver – he has 2 WDC’s and more race wins, though it has been surprising he hasn’t dominated either Jenson or Nico in the way Vettel did Webber – or Alonso did Kimi last year… Even Button in the Brawn on Barrichello.

        Either Nico and Jenson are a lot better than many give them credit for – or Lewis isn’t quite in the top echelon of F1 drivers who have trounced the man in the same equipment as they have.

        This year is Lewis big chance to deliver – great start to the year – no emotional distractions – he looks to be thoroughly enjoying himself – he just has to decide whether its Mercedes or Ferrari for 2016.

        Its difficult to see Lewis being de-railed by anything other than his own response to what he perceives to be an injustice.

        • Vettel. Clear No1 driver Status

          Alonso. Clear No1 driver Status.

          Come on.. apples and oranges.

          • That’s the way real champs did and do it. Senna had it. Schumi had it…

          • Basically it boils down to this…

            Rosberg is unraveling right before our eyes. He’s no longer the smart cerebral, intelligent Prost like driver, so what better way to try and make it look like that’s not the case.

            Lewis is not only the more successful driver Aj, he’s the better all round driver. The only thing that you can point to where he’s not being dominated, is qualifying last year, other than that, he’s being dominated.

            Your Jenson reference is obscured at best. 1 pole position and one race win where the condition was dry the entire weekend. Lewis lost far more points from leading positions than Jenson and in races that they both finished, he was comfortably beaten.

            Had McLaren not screwed up so badly in 2012, I think the picture would be much better and that rhetoric about scoring more points over 3 seasons, would be meaningless.

            https://thejudge13.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/hamfosistamp-01-sml.png

          • Oh my word… such a furore all across the comments section…

            Anyway before I go back into the abyss, @SpannersReady… “Vettel clear number one”… Who says?

            He wasn’t number one when he was put into the big bull car alongside the experienced Webber – neither was he clear number one when in his last championship year he was given the multi-21 instruction to defer to the Aussie?

            I know Lewis made this claim that Vettel demands No.1 in a recent interview – but it could just be possible – Lewis is just saying stuff he has no knowledge of… if you watched the interview he was being very ‘playful’ and exuberant.

            Granted, Red Bull denying Vettel was No.1 means little to many… and the consistent Webber pit stop fails gave rise to this theory along with the ‘new wing’ redistribution in Silverstone.

            But does Vettel even have number one status at Ferrari – and what really does this mean if promised?

            Vettel was given the strategy in Bahrain that meant he had to fight Rosberg – and ruin his tyres. Kimi was given the alternate strategy which meant he wasn’t constantly in the heat of the battle with the Mercedes – and wound up 2nd.

            It seems Ferrari will decide their race strategy based upon qualifying position and not a number one status as happened when Massa’s gearbox seal was broken – which may mean their worst qualifier gets a different strategy – which at times will be better than the one qualifying ahead.

            This is hardly a number one/number two arrangement in any shape or form.

            Finally, to address the point you glossed over re: Alonso v Kimi. In 2014 Ferrari team orders were non-existant. Whether they were running a No.1 status wasn’t even questioned.

            it was simply Kimi was so far back and Alonso was miles better/more comfortable with the car than the iceman – there was never the need for the “Alonso is faster than you” calls to be made to Kimi.

            Anyway – I hope I did justice to your 15 word comment…. peace and love 😉

          • @ajhuntf1
            ““Vettel clear number one”… Who says?”

            There is very little doubt that Red Bull had the team centred around hte needs of Vettel, whereas Ferrari around those of Alonso… Now Ferrari is little doubt centred around Vettel…

            You can think of #1 status in these terms…

          • … “centred around the needs of Vettel”

            I’m not so sure that it was as blatant as that – Newey discovered that he could design his cars in a certain fashion which then required a counter intuitive driving style – which Seb mastered and then dominated Webber.

            Every F1 car will to some degree suit one of the drivers more than the other… But this was not a number 1/2 arrangement in the sense we would normally use this definition.

        • “”though it has been surprising he hasn’t dominated either Jenson or Nico in the way Vettel did Webber – or Alonso did Kimi last year… Even Button in the Brawn on Barrichello.””

          Ah, but he did trounce both Nico and Jenson once we remove car reliability and team screw ups (things outside his control) from the equation. Even in 2011 Lewis out performed Jenson on track. The races where both finished is a useful metric that discounts reliability and massafication. even with the massafication (the propensity to ruin the race of your team leaders rivals) Lewis outqualifed and won the same amount and without the teams dnfs would have beaten him despite being his worse year.
          In 2012 Lewis lapped Jenson in a normal race in the same car, and was finishing on the podium vs 14th etc – thats what I call domination
          As for Nico 11/5 in races, not a single on track pass, 10 out of 11 wins in a row – thats approaching Alonso/Kimi even though Kimi wasnt gunning for title
          Maybe the fact Nico finishes a few seconds behind indicates a closeness but that would be fairly naive

        • Aj, I thought last year was Lewis’s chance to deliver against the man many said this new formula would suit best?

          I guess all the notes that he has been making in his little black since his junior days, seems to be working. I hope he keeps it locked in Fort Knox, just in case Nico tries to get his hand on it.

        • The Vettel/Webber and Alonso/Raikonnen arguments are slightly weakened by their respective cars having driving styles that noticeably favoured one driver over the other though, aren’t they? It seemed Webber never really got the hang of the driving style required in the RB (which in itself hindered Vettel last year), and the Ferrari was built around Alonso’s driving style which is quite different to Kimi.

          I’m not saying this because I believe that in a mutually beneficial car Webber/Kimi would have wiped the floor with Vettel/Alonso, but it’s a fairly well known thing that they didn’t suit the car as well as their team mates, so that alone would make a big difference to how they fared against them.

          • “Ferrari was built around Alonso’s driving style”

            Which is… “Give me a brick and I’ll show everyone I can drive it! But it will at least ensure that anyone in the other car will spin and fall in a ditch…”

            I suspect Alonso’s car development skills are quite obvious by now, after all the vitriol he got from Ferrari engineers upon his departure, and the guy is so insensitive to car problems that he cannot pinpoint them in time and direct senior engineers in their development work.

        • I agree with this comment and it’s various points.

          • Lewis is the more successful driver. I think the better driver too, at his best.

          • With the exception of this year so far, Lewis hasn’t “dominated” Nico – using a reasonable definition of the word – and didn’t “dominate” Jenson, as perhaps other champions did to their respective teammates.

          •This 2015 season has seen a Lewis Hamilton that I can not recall being better at any stage of his career. It is likely to be a first for Lewis totally dominating Nico, in the truest sense. I agree that only a perceived injustice could destabilise Lewis.

          As it stands so far in 2015, Lewis is doing justice to his raw ability, his dominant car, his opportunity and is faultlessly delivering, so far. I don’t think that’s been the case in years gone by…

          #44 is in career best form. The real threat is Vettel / Ferrari. Vettel has the speed and brains – given a comparable car – to do some damage. Let’s see how Ferrari develops.

  6. “oh no, more of the Hamilton vs Rosberg arguments.” Eh, AJ? 🙂

    “he beat Hamilton 12-7 in qualifying last year”

    Hamilton had two car failures in quali in 2014. Correcting for this would bring the tally to a less impressive 10-7. And even though the headline times do suggest Rosberg was faster than Hamilton (by 0.187s on average), a more nuanced look at theoretical best quali laps shows that Hamilton and Rosberg were dead even over the season:

    http://thejudge13.com/2015/01/25/voice-of-the-f1-fans-mercedes-drivers-how-close-was-it-really/

    This said, last year Rosberg clearly found a performance edge in quali towards the end of the year. His overtaking this year against the Ferrari’s is also an encouraging sign. If he can find this grit in race trim, too, against Hamilton, it shall be an interesting season.

    Two cautions, though. Last year Hamilton was very visibly undernourished which no doubt robbed him of some edge in quali, as often mentioned by f1esty. Second, Hamilton has his hidden advantage in brake control in this PU formula, whereas he brakes late, recovers more energy, and thus uses less fuel while still going quicker, giving him a clear edge in race trim. This year from the fuel charts I’ve seen it seemed as if consumption-wise Rosberg was closer to Hamilton. If Rosberg managed to close this gap this year, then we are for more interesting races. If not, then only random DNFs will likely stop Hamilton from winning races…

    https://f1metrics.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/2014-model-based-driver-rankings/

    • all outstanding points! early in the season yet for sure. but on track all weekend long and in his longish interviews, I see Lewis as on top of his game this year roughly equal to any of the past greats of motorsport. and he is in a great car and a pretty good team too 🙂
      I see this year as the one he makes being a WDC look easy to the casual fan while showing us old timers once again just how damned hard it is to get yourself into that position – even when all the stars are aligned…
      Nico will do fine. Seb and Kimi will have their moments of glory. maybe even Danny will get to buy into the game once or twice.
      but I see a man on a mission to his destiny as a 3X WDC with all the tools at his fingertips!

      • @TitanRacer69 Agree with most of what you say, and as @ajHuntF1 says Lewis is for once presenting as a trouble free soul and really enjoying himself… also as his article says – 19 out of 22 drivers in F1 history with the start that Lewis has made go on to win the WDC.

        It would be a pretty big disaster if he failed to do so… but he still has to make it happen.

        • Was looking into the 19/22 thing, and the pattern that seemed to pop out at me is that for the 3 drivers that failed to convert, they did very poorly in the 5th race, and their main competitor (who would ultimately beat them) usually won that 5th race.

    • I think Rosberg’s changed his angle of attack this year, to try to equal Lewis in the fuel usage stakes, and I think it’s this that is hurting his quali performances, relative to last year. I believe his car is more set up for the race, and so his race pace is better than in 2014, relative to Lewis. He’s still behind, but not to the amount he was last year.

      Having said all that, as the author says, if this were an election, on quali results there has only been one gain/loss over last year, that being Bahrain. Of course last year at this time Nico’s mantra was “if it’s dry, I’ll take pole”.

      Not sure Spain is a Rosberg track. It’s better than some others, but Lewis has still podiumed in half his races there. The ones where he didn’t (2009; 2010; 2012; 2013) all have simple explanations as to why (dud car; wheel rim blowout on penultimate lap while running 2nd; excluded from quali, P24 start; tire-eating W04).

      It was a worthwhile piece to do, and it could be just a matter of the bounces not going Nico’s way to date.

      p.s. shouldn’t Hammy be wearing a Merc cap in the Hamfosi graphic?

  7. Ambitious if somewhat overly optimistic article.
    3 things, Nico improving his quali is irrelevant if he continues to be unable to stay pass or stay ahead of Lewis on track. And there is zero evidence this has changed from last year. Clue – Nico started on pole in fewer races than he won, and Lewis won more races than poles
    Second, a chap in a Merc who has been beaten twice by a chap in a Ferrari and is yet to win a race will be a lot more concerned with beating drivers in the inferior car than feeling optimistic about sudenly reversing the trend of the last 3 years against his teammate
    Thirdly – since the radio ban Nico has pressed the wrong Ers buttons and has become frequently overwhelmed by the need to drive the car without help with his situational awareness. i.e his cerebral approach aint working and needs to be changed. And if Niki Lauda is having to advice him to be less cerebral, it could be time to get a sports psychologist instead of practicing breathing in the corners

  8. Having the lead in pole positions does not count for much of you don’t convert them into wins. I haven’t check the stats.. and someone here probably knows… But I suspect it means HAM leads the duel in the number of times he had overtaken ROS

    • Nico converted 3 of 11 poles into wins (Monaco, Germany & Brazil), Lewis converted 6 of 7

      Race winning overtakes, Bahrain, Austin, Japan & Italy.

      • What about him Sir…. He did it too???

        As and when my editor in chief rants incoherently, consistently displays his favouritism from a personal and predisposed point of view, refuses to engage properly with the points made by those with differing viewpoints…. he too will get a badge…. Labelled P45 😉

        • Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges. Although if you are giving things away for free? I’ll take a mulit21, I think it’s a fizzy drink. j/k

          I think I actually will pass on a badge. Just about the time I am all for a driver, they seem to open their mouth, either on the team radio or in front of a microphone and ruin it.

          • @DudeTuna … LOL… I’ll be ordering a Vodka Multi-21 on your recomendation from now… it’s all a circus – a parody… but a lot of fun to watch

  9. youll be needing badges for the h8rz as well, those that write articles that persistently display their disfavour from a personal and predisposed point of view, refuse to engage properly with the article comments made by those with differing viewpoints

    😉

  10. Good good article!Only problem here is,someone is already looking past ,dead and gone.And Hamilton seems to be drawing strength by walking on the shoulders of those who had been a thorn in his side the past year;namely,Nico R. and Nicole S!
    Name sakes indeed!

    • @Ricardo Thank you for your contribution.

      And TJ13 has constantly stated since our inception that NS has been a thorn in Lewis’ side… so yes he is looking good this year.

      Yet Fleet street reported after Barcelona last year… “Lauda, a three-time world champion, said that nobody could better Hamilton on his current form, as he gave the 29-year-old the highest possible praise. ‘Lewis is unbeatable – it’s very simple to say,’ Lauda said on Sunday night. ‘Because he’s getting better and better every race, he makes no b***** mistake whatsoever and nobody can beat him at the moment'”.

      It turned out fortunately for the fans a little bit tighter than that.

      I think our editor in chief is merely saying the media hype at present may be a little overstated… We can of course become Autosport Mk2, even write Coutlhard-esque popular opinion pieces… if everyone would prefer those kinds of articles.

      It also appears to have slipped everyone’s radar… the highly unusual level of hyperbole of praise Niki Lauda heaped on Rosberg following the Bahrain GP. #NotNormal

      What does this mean? Maybe Mercedes just want Rosberg to up his game to fight the Ferrari’s…. then again maybe there is another reason…

      • “It also appears to have slipped everyone’s radar… the highly unusual level of hyperbole of praise Niki Lauda heaped on Rosberg following the Bahrain GP. #NotNormal”

        I suspect the explanation is very simple. His guy, Lewis, is seemingly so dominant making him, Lauda, so very happy, that at this point he, Lauda, needs no more to display his Hamilton #44 favouritism openly and can afford to hypocritically show himself as even-handed and display for once some fake support towards the other guy, Nico.

        Have no doubt that if Lewis and Nico were tied in the points table, he would be uttering non support towards Rosberg…

        • WTF- thanks for the reply…

          An analogy about domination from another sport: the New England Patriots have been the dominant team in American football since 2001. In this time they’ve played in six Super Bowl games, winning four. Though they’ve never won the ultimate game by more than three points, they still have the “dominant” moniker.

          If, for eight years you beat a rival by one point in every season in which the two of you participate in a sport, though the point differential was always so very close, you still dominated the rivalry by winning eight times in a row. And in the case of 2014 you can add 11 GP wins to five as a signature of Hamilton’s dominance over Rosberg.

          And in the case of these two I feel Rosberg’s own “Just like when we’re kids,” statement, made in utter frustration at not being able to “find the tenths” (as he’s so fond of saying) to defeat Hamilton, is tantamount to an admission of Hamilton’s dominance in their rivalry.

          • @DWil, interesting analogy… I see your point, but I don’t think that analogy quite fits here. That being said, I believe we are entering a discourse about the precision and use of the English language. So I will move away from the concept of “Domination”, of which my views are already stated, and use your logic in another way so as to highlight the concept of context in Formula 1.

            Applying said logic to Formula 1, I suppose a statement like, “Sebastian Vettel has dominated Lewis Hamilton, overall, since Sebastian entered Formula 1.”

            How so? Well, let’s have a look at the season-by-season final championship positions that both Lewis and Sebastian have competed in together in Formula 1.

            Year: SV – LH
            2008: 8th – 1st*
            2009: 2nd* – 5th
            2010: 1st* – 4th
            2011: 1st* – 5th
            2012: 1st* – 4th
            2013: 1st* – 4th
            2014: 5th – 1st*
            *Dominator (Cheeky, I know…)

            They have shared seven full seasons together, from 2008-2014, where Sebastian has “dominated” Lewis on an overall basis, by 5-2, when looking at the season-by-season analysis.

            Of course, that’s a ridiculous analysis, or more specifically a limited one. It lacks context… However it’s a true statement, assuming a wide range for the word “dominated”, and a novice of Formula 1 will infer incorrectly if presented this above evidence in conjunction with my statement.

            I believe that is what inadvertently would happen with your original, “Hamilton has, on track, dominated Rosberg since they were 13.” We both know that, firstly, they have only shared 3 seasons together that could illicit an appropriate comparative analysis, one season being junior karting. Not an implied 17 seasons, given they are about 30 years old.

            Secondly, I think we’ve both presented our view of “dominate”, and where it may, or may not, apply. But just to close this already too-long-of-a-comment off, I don’t think a statement that Lewis has dominated Nico since 13 is anymore meaningful or accurate than Sebastian has dominated Lewis since they began racing together 7-8 seasons ago.

            In truth, we both know Sebastian has never dominated Lewis, and should know that Lewis is really dominating Nico for the first time in his career. The frustrations Nico expressed about his childhood racing with Lewis speak to his defeated and dominated mindset, which I certainly subscribe to.

            As an aside, most of the vociferous “discussions” with my wife can be tracked back to the variations in the use of English language. So for what it’s worth, and as I say to her too, “I still love you, DWil…”.

            (Smiley Emoji with a hint of ‘this was fun”)

  11. My evaluation of Rosberg hasn’t changed at all these last years. Fast and solid, he will show exactly what a car is capable of, no more, no less. But do not expect him to be brilliant or defeat the odds. Thus the Rosberg we have now is the same of last year, the only difference is that Hamilton has managed a respectable run of races without defeating himself.

    His confidence has no reason to be shaken, since he didn’t really take a nose dive. Hamilton just got consistent. So Rosberg should basically keep pilling up the points and hope Hamilton hits one of those rough patches sooner rather than later.

    • “the only difference is that Hamilton has managed a respectable run of races without defeating himself”

      To be fair, last year in Australia it was the Merc PU defeating itself. Hamilton was simply on the receiving end…

  12. WTF –
    I used the Patriots analogy because the NFL is a tightly-controlled sport that contrives conditions for parity. The teams competing in the Super Bowl have the shortest offseason, which, because of the debilitating violence of the game pits then at a distinct disadvantage the next season. The winner of that final game then is rewarded with playing every first place conference team from the previous season in addition to twice playing the teams in their own conference that are built to defeat the champion. That’s 12 out of 16 regular season games against, more often than not the league’s stiffest competition. Plus, each team has a salary cap. When a team wins the other teams immediately look to poach any of the Super Bowl winning team’s players they can in an effort to strengthen their team and weaken the champion. To win as consistently as have the Patriots is no mean feat, as the other 29 teams are their direct competitors.

    That said, in 2000 and 2001 Rosberg and Hamilton were teammates in Formula A and Formula Super A. Hamilton was max-point scoring champion in both years. That is what Rosberg is referring to in his defeatist statement. As teammates for a second time Lewis has again bested his once friend in direct competition… and he has a WDC to boot.

    I hope this sufficiently explains my stance concerning Hamilton. I am, though, sorry for not fully explaining the reason for using the New England Patriots as an example of direct domination.

    As far as Motorsport experience goes, my “career” ended on dusty karting courses in California when I was 10, due to my burgeoning acumen as a tennis player. I have always maintained my love for the sport. Though my endeavors have precluded me from closely following the technical and political sides of the sport, I am grateful to have more time to do so now. And because there are excellent minds here at tj13 who have, fortunately for me, kept shrewd eyes on F1, I know where to go to catch up on whatever details I have missed in the years preceding the last three.

    @matt – Hammeriods?! So, you see us as a festering brood… intermittently singing, “can’t touch this” during races when the mood strikes!!! 🙂

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